July 12th, 2010
12:07 PM ET

'True Blood' gets back to business

Editor’s Note: This post contains spoilers for the Sunday, July 11, episode of HBO’s “True Blood.”

When we last gathered ‘round the TV to catch up with Bon Temps’ sexy assortment of supernaturals and conflicted mortals, we found ourselves wading waist-deep in the ongoing plot exposition of this season’s too many new characters and storylines.

But last night, we finally got down to business and settled into the “True Blood” we love and ignore our husbands for.

So, after an attempt to gather intelligence on Bill’s whereabouts ended in an angry snarl of leather and hair product, we find Sookie tending to the physical and emotional wounds of Alcide, who continues to pine for his former fiancée – the as-yet-unseen Debbie Pelt. Debbie, as it turns out, has moved on, and is to be betrothed to Operation Werewolfer - and Bill-kidnapper - Coot.

Then Bill calls Sookie to tell her they can no longer be together and, to add insult to injury, that he and Lorena have just made sweet, sweet vampire love. (I feel like every time we hear from Bill he should be accompanied by a "Debbie Downer"-esque sad trombone. Just me? OK, then. Moving on.)

The call is abrupt and cold, and with this being her first breakup, Sookie is understandably devastated. The Ugly Cry commences (been there, girlfriend) and it’s Alcide’s turn to do the consoling. There’s a brief spark of something that Alcide has to go and ruin when the writers of this episode senselessly send him off in search of a shirt.

Meanwhile, back in Bon Temps, Sam continues to make a compelling argument against pursuing genealogy as a hobby. He discovers that not only has his skeevy, long-lost shifter brother Tommy attempted to burgle him, but his skeevy, long-lost parents have set up camp in the Merlotte’s parking lot after being run out of town back home. A heart-to-heart with Tommy later in the episode leads Sam to offer the Mickens clan a place to stay until they’re back on their feet, a decision I suspect he’ll soon come to regret.

As always, Merlotte’s is a beehive of activity. While the entire Bon Temps Police Department celebrates Sheriff Bud Dearborne’s retirement, a gaggle of underage drinkers cheers on the local football hero. Andy Bellefleur is appointed sheriff in Bud’s absence and Jason, determined to join the ranks, guilts Andy into putting him on the fast track to becoming one of Bon Temps’ finest.

Arlene, Merlotte’s sole dependable waitress, already overwhelmed by her new-found baby mamadom (courtesy of deceased nutcake René), has one more reason to worry when Sam hires baby vamp Jessica as a hostess. Apparently redheads score the best tips. Who knew?

And then there’s Tara. Poor troubled Tara. You’d think she’d be cut a little slack after spending most of last season in a bug-eyed trance, but after falling in with shady newcomer vamp Franklin Mott, things aren’t looking so hot.

Franklin glamours Tara into telling him everything she knows about Sookie’s telepathic abilities. While under his spell, Tara calls Sookie in an attempt to pin down her location. Eventually, in what has to be the creepiest date ever, Franklin and a bound Tara speed off into the night toward Jackson where – surprise! – they arrive at the home of Mississippi Vampire King Russell Edgington.

Here’s where things start to get sparky. During a tête-à-tête over cigars and snifters of O+, Bill tells Russell that in exchange for his loyalty, he wants Lorena out of the picture. Permanently. He then confides that Eric is in cahoots with Louisiana’s Queen Sophie-Anne to sell vampire blood. Gleeful over the chance to sic the vampire Magister on his nemesis, Russell takes the gang out for a night on the town and orders Bill to procure dinner for the evening. Cue ominous music.

In short order, Fangtasia is raided by the Magister and his henchmen. The raid yields a cooler full of vampire blood that Pam is (painfully) held accountable for. Eric arrives and backs Pam when she declares that Bill is to blame for the blood. The Magister then promises that Pam will see the business end of his snappy two-in-one scalding/staking device if Eric does not produce Bill within two days.

In Jackson, Sookie decides to stay put until she can confront Bill about their breakup. She convinces Alcide to accompany her to Debbie’s engagement party so she can try and find out more about Bill’s whereabouts and so he can see that he’s better off without Debbie.

When they arrive, the engagement party is in full swing and we finally get to meet Debbie Pelt! Glassy-eyed and reminiscent of the winner of a Tiffany look-a-like contest, Debbie has zero intention of reuniting with Alcide and crowd surfs her way toward her Operation Werewolf betrothal. The ringleader of said ceremony? None other than Russell Edgington. He opens a vein and provides the assembled weres with a round of shots. Things quickly devolve as the group begins to shift en masse and Alcide snarls at Sookie to flee.

You’ll be thrilled and delighted to know that Russell makes it back in plenty of time to enjoy dinner. I don’t know about you, but I was totally bummed out by that ending. You know what they say, when this limo’s a rockin’, there’s a stripper with a fatalistic world view being drained inside.

Until next week, chers. In the meantime, tell me what you thought of last night’s episode!

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Filed under: television • True Blood • TV recaps

soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Andrew

    I want to see more gay vampires, I'd like to see Eric and Bill hookup, yah baby!

    July 21, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. LB

    I noticed alot of posts about the books.......the director, cast, etc have said from the beginning that this series is NOT the books just similarities. So those upset that "the books are better" " doesn't follow the books"... Sorry your disappointed but as I said above, they were clear from the start of the series, not the books. As for the series, I'm always chomping at the bit come Sunday night to see what's gonna happen next. I'm enjoying this season ALOT .. oh and um I was never fond of Bill, always thought Sookie and Eric would be something else ;) The one thing that I'm having a hard time with is the Tara and Franklin story – the more they go on the more we find Franklin is just nuts – a vampire and crazy – just having a hard time with that story line.

    July 21, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. BT

    "Ignore our husbands for"? Husbands are watching this show a lot too. Kicks twilights ass.

    July 21, 2010 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  4. Tiffanie

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE TRUE BLOOD!!!!

    I have read all 10 books, and I see the show as another rhelm of sookie stories. They keep the same background story so I know who people are, but change the details so it keeps me interested! Not just a repeat of the books! Good work! Way better than season 2 so far by a long shot!

    July 20, 2010 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. andi

    i just dont get how some people can be confused as long as you watch all the seasons. the reason why there is so many story lines is to keep it interesting, i also like the pace of each storyline because that keeps the suspense building.
    i see that most people read the books and dont like how the series is unfolding so i wont read it as yet but I LOVE LOVE TB i cant get enough of it !!!! ( alcide's body is AMAZING by the way *sigh*)

    July 20, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  6. llyn

    Russell's giving his blood to the Nazi were gang brilliantly ties a number of plot lines together. I suspect this season is going to be Sophie Ann and Eric and one pack of werewolves against Russell (who thinks he has Bill on his side but really doesn't) and a Nazi were pack. Against this backdrop we will witness the Perils of a number of Paulines: Sookie, Tara, Lafayette, Jessica, Sam . . . I love the books but I am enjoying watching what the writers do with the show– the written word ain't video.

    July 18, 2010 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Love True Blood

    Love True Blood this season!!! I loved the books and though the show is different in a lot of ways, I love it too. And as time is passing, I'm starting to love the show more than the book. Franklin Mott is awesome, and I LOVE Sookie and all her suitors (Bill, Eric, and now Alcide). :)

    July 17, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Katrina

    I don't know how anyone is lost. You must be distracted whille watching this season. I can keep up just fine. I love the new season. Yes its different from the books. What book is exactly the same as the show/movie? Everyone should read the books to get a good understanding of the show. But man Alcide is Yummmmmmyyy!!!!!!

    July 16, 2010 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Joane

    I think true blood is great!The book is fantastic, and stories may have changed, but as they said Allan Ball just got the idea from the books and we shoould've anticipated that there will be changes...What's the sense of the tv show if you knew already what's going to happen in each episode?So it's great that there are things that would surprise the audience.By the way...I'm so loving ERIC!woot!

    July 16, 2010 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  10. jacqui

    loving this series all the new characters and the sense of humour keep it up

    July 15, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. KiKi

    I love, love, love true blood! I have not read the books and I probably won't, but I love the show. And this review was great but there was no mention of Lafayette...that sucks

    July 15, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. 2010

    Loved the review. Shoechewer, please go back to chewing shoes. Don't like Sookie's cry; her relationship with Bill has become nagging. Get it on with Eric already, you lucky little girl! Tara, geez girl, it never stops with your agonies. I wonder if she would be the same if turned a vampire – drama queen! Love the show overall!

    July 14, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. TrubeeTuesday

    My problem is not following all the plot lines, but with so many they are moving at a snail pace and if am finding it much more like a daytime soap then an exciting show. I have read the books and am totally okay with changes, but with 10 new characters they only get one scene per episode and it gets slow. Move the story along already. Even more boring is politics. with all the crap going on in the real world don't give me layers of vampire org charts. The magister gives power to the monarchs, but takes directionfrom the Vampire league OMG already. And Nazi werewolfs?!? i think this show has a shark waiting to be jumped. There is so much story to tell and we get a civis lesson.

    July 13, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Pam

    Rene has been dead for a long time! He couldn't be the dad!

    July 12, 2010 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • fisha3000

      Pam:

      in the true blood world, renee has only been dead about 4-6 weeks. the end of the last episode of season one was 2 weeks after renee died and season two picked right up from there. season two only lasted a week, 10 days max. sookie said to jason when they were coming back from dallas that she'd only been gone 3 days and the town had fallen apart. so, yeah he's the daddy.

      July 14, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bride of Drankenstein

    Please, Shoechewer. What exactly is your idea of funny and interesting? The George Lopez Show, I bet. Love the blog. Look forward to more of them.

    July 12, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  16. BOO BOO

    Too many things going on?! I guess some people can't deal with something beyond all the reality shows on tv. Granted some of the stories they have going on can be boring to me... I still find the show very entertaining even though I have read all the books and am glad it doesn't follow them to a "T", as it keeps it exciting enough that you will be surprised instead of just knowing whats coming next. Anna looks amazing this season and the woman who plays Pam was looking great all hung up! :) Anyways, love the show though season 2 was a snooze fest and this season is very exciting.

    July 12, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Amy

    I thinking they need to get the show back insync with the books. the show is quickly becoming CRAP

    July 12, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  18. PFM

    I have read all the books and really love them. I love the show too. I know that Alan Ball and the writers need to include the other characters in various plot lines since the books are from Sookie's viewpoint. So I trust that they are trying to give the fans/viewers as great a storyline as possible. I am very happy that they are using the books as a general outline for each season so far. Please keep it up.

    July 12, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lulu

      If there are too many story lines and too many new characters then obviously Americans are spending too much time watching freaking Family Guy or something (funny yet brainless). The books are enjoyable but Alan Ball had really brought this series to a new level! It is fast paced, yes, but that is part of its intrigue! Good job to the staff creating this series. It really is my guilty pleasure.
      And ooh-la-la, the Eric and Sookie scene made me sweat. I hope it happens soon!!!

      July 12, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Thedragonslayer

    Please do us all a favor and don't go into writing Shoechewer, this blog is awesome!

    July 12, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  20. FanofBooks

    Statements like "too many characters" and "can't follow the storylines" is a painful reminder of how we, as a society, no longer like to think while being entertained.

    If children and teenagers can manage to understand (and can recite backwards-and-forwards, incidentally) the myriad of plot lines and hundreds of characters in the Harry Potter novels and the countless copycat series in that genre, it's sad that adults in this generation can't follow some of the best writing on television.

    July 12, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marie

      I am sending you a high-five! Too true!! I watch TB to be entertained by the insanity and adventure of it all. AB creates complex, multi-layered characters that develop/evolve as the storyline progresses-remember "Six Feet Under" (Ruth. Claire. Brenda)?? This is not the books! This is "Alan Ball's True Blood"-sorry to disappoint those with minimal attention span.

      July 12, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Halleigh

      I must admit, I would not had been able to know who Calvin was if I had not already read the books. But knowing the man's name was not that important to that scene. You'd still get the gist of what is going on.

      July 12, 2010 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jessica

      Agreed! Part of the reason I absolutely LOVE True Blood is because there is just so much going on all the time! I love the introduction of all these new characters and welcome the "chore" of thinking! lol.

      July 14, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  21. TruFan

    This season got really interesting last night. The Bill and Eric characters are increasingly intriguing and Sam's family wears their low class, back woods dirt brokeness like a tailor made suit. I can't wait to see what the h is wrong with his mother.

    July 12, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Caisandra

      I agree! Of all the characters, possibly Sookie is becoming a bit too predictable. But, I'm sure that will change shortly with her emerging powers revealed. Also, I don't think we see enough of Baby Vamp (Jessica), who seems to be growing stronger as others are becoming weaker.

      July 16, 2010 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  22. Tara

    I think if you are watching this with the books in the back of your mind, you are always going to be disappointed. If you watch it without the books in mind, and simply a show, as it should be and had been mentioned time and time again by Ball, CH, and all actors, then it can be swallowed easier. It's a BIG pill to take – granted. However, I am seriously unclear as to how all the watchers can't follow the story lines....... they might be boring, over drawn, etc – I get that – but i dont get how you can't follow them.

    July 12, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brittany

      @TARA i agree, how can no one keep up with the story lines, it is a big pill to swallow but its so easy to understand.

      July 17, 2010 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  23. John Doe

    I was very surprised on how toned Sookie was in her lingerie. Good job Rogue!

    July 12, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • MaryAnn

      I love the show! I also enjoy the books but they are not the same animal.

      I adore F Mott. I think his bat s–t crazy humor is great. If I could get a t-shirt that said "Team Franklin" and had that picture of him all fangs and making that horrible face while he was fanging Tara I would love it. Below the photo it could read "Did you miss me? I brought you flowers and more duct tape." He has done the impossible; he has made Tara interesting! This wacko show is great!

      July 12, 2010 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  24. oooh

    I can't wait for Magister to discover that Russell is give blood to the Were's. That's even worse than selling blood.

    July 12, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Rachel

    Being a reader of the books, I have come to accepts Alan Ball's artistic liscence with the characters and plot lines...but he has gone so far over the edge of reason that I am completely lost as to what most of this season has to do with the third book! Now I just watch to complain about it with the other girls in the office!

    July 12, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brandee

      Rachel
      I agree about the show being so far off base from the 3rd book...i really hope for a turn of events...i too am getting very confused as to where this is all going...nonetheless...still a HUGE fan :)

      July 12, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • MRod

      Could not agree more!! But then again, by the end of book one there was no more LaFayette. And although I hated that they kept him (while watching the first episode of season two) I still enjoy watching him on the TV.

      The book had no Jessica, no V, Eggs was a mere mention and then gone...

      I am quite interested in seeing who they get to play Quinn though. Should be interesting to see if they make it far enough into the book series to be able to cast that character....

      July 12, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hot4Erick

      I agree they've made the series much different than the books. I LOVED the book series. Does anyone know if she plans to continue the series?
      but I certainly would LOVE to get a hold of Alex Skarsgard...YUMMY! <3333333333

      July 16, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christy

      I agree with Rachel...I'm lost as to this season's connection to Book 3. I'm trying to accept that they just aren't going to be like the books but it would be nice if they were. However, I am still intrigued enough to keep moving forward with watching. I love some of the lines from the show...Eric calling Lafayette "RuPaul" was pretty funny.

      July 16, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Quit Hatting

    I'm actually liking this season. Yes its a lot to take in, but I mean its true blood! Ofcourse everything will start to pan out and eventually its ownly been four eps so far...come on people. will see what the writting are putting together for us. I have full faith in the writter because they have yet to let me down.

    For all those who do...Shame on you. Your the reason why good shows never make it.

    So loving the Tara storyline. I really hopes the Vampire turns her, wouldnt that just be awsome!

    July 12, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Anita

    I disagree with "Shoechewer"; the recap was good and funny:-). I'm being patient with this season (waiting for Lorena's demise) and I am enjoying the new characters.

    July 12, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Elaine

    I think the story is getting boring.

    July 12, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  29. little birdy

    Hahah "stuck" in last season, not "suck".

    July 12, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  30. little birdy

    I watched the first season of TB riveted. Then came the next season – a sorry disappointment. Now we have a chaotic and overblown season that shows every symptom of a show suffering from its own success. There are so many plot lines and characters I can barely keep up. Sooki has become so unbearable with her perky chest thrusting mouth breathing that I can barely watch her. I'm beginning to hope Sookie puts a stake in Bill's heart and Tara seems to be suck in last season with her constant hysteria and zombie tendencies. Well, it was good while it lasted.

    July 12, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • GAgurl

      Read the books, they are MUCH better!

      July 16, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Another AC

      I wholly disagree with you– I've watched since Day One and have been completely engrossed with each season. That there are so many plot lines makes the show more intriguing, especially since they all manage to intersect at one point or another. Each of the characters (even the minor ones) is well written and well developed; very few shows today manage to do that.

      July 19, 2010 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  31. Jim

    I think Bill is better off without Debbie...move on.. http://bit.ly/TrueBloodSe3Ep4

    July 12, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Shoechewer

    Now I know I will Definitely pursue a career in writing. Very unfunny, un-interesting report.

    July 12, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • KimboSlice224

      I understand how people can be confused with al lthe different story lines, just re-watch the old episodes and seasons. It's pretty simple. I love the show and I find it hilarious! I have never read the book and I don't want to, I feel it will ruin the show for me. The show is just based off the Sookie Stackhouse series, not following it to a T. I think that Franklin is so crazy, its obnoxiously funny. Lafaytte FINALLY got asked on a date by a guy who really likes him. I'm bummed about Jessica and Hoytt, but I see a budding romance between her and Sam's brother. Also, Sookie should forget Bill and go to Alcide. Mucho caliante!

      July 19, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • aharddaysnight

      Kimbo, not following it to a T is the understatement of the year. HBO has trashed the novels. Shame on them! If you like the series and haven't read the books, I wouldn't. The books are ten times better than the crap HBO comes up with. I will say casting is good with the exception of Tara. Tara is white in the books and is not Lafayettes cousin. There is no "Jessica" and that's about where I end it because the differences are too many to list and it just makes my blood pressure rise. I will say Stephen and Alexander make a great Bill and Eric. They can bite my neck anytime. Especially tall blonde and viking!

      July 19, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • orbital

      I concur. Do we really need a Cliff's notes of the season's story so far? Where is your point of view Ms. Smith?
      Why does CNN even post these articles? Is journalism dead?

      July 22, 2010 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |

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